A friend of ours is having an 80s-themed birthday party next month, and I'm trying to come up with costume ideas. Do I wear what I wore back then, or the stereotype like puffy skirts, legwarmers, and neon?
I went through about ten different fashion phases in high school. I started in 1982 (egad) and graduated in 1986, and went through an arty period in university for the next few years. First it was New Romantic (lots of lace, big curly hair that spilled down my face, tons of jewellery/pearls/dangly earrings, puffy shirts, many items from Le Chateau), then it was Mod/Ska (60s inspired, clam diggers, cardigans, plimsoles, miniskirts with turtlenecks), then it was sorta punk/arty (everything came from Salvation Army or the army surplus shop, Doc Martens, trenchcoats, safety pins everywhere), then it was Goth (lots of black. Um...yeah and more black.)
And the hair. Oh, the things I did to my hair. I'm amazed I still have any. I did so many home dye and bleach jobs, my scalp should have melted away by now. The crimping, the blow drying (while hanging upside down for the most volume), spraying my hair with hairspray then frying it on a curling iron, using supermega hair gel/wax/spray and backcombing it until it stood on end. DIY haircuts in the university dorm bathroom at 3am.
My eyebrows were tweezed within an inch of their lives (until it became fashionable again to have eyebrows - or at least draw them in with pencil.) Blindingly bright eyeshadow and in fact, I remember using bright yellow lipstick (!) as eyeshadow at one point. Lots of eyeliner and layer upon layer of mascara. "Laser wound" blush, as my friend Michael used to say (blush that looked like you'd been struck with a laser beam.) I used the palest foundation colour I could get, topped with even paler powder. And why was heavy make up on men not an issue back then? We loved guys in eyeliner, blush, and eyeshadow, and even a little lipstick (or a lot of lipstick if you were Robert Smith.)
I was never much into the neon and legwarmers, actually. Although having said that, I did go through a very brief phase of wearing my dancewear to school (including my jazz oxfords.) So I dunno. So many ideas to choose from. So much of it completely hideous and will look ridiculous on a 43 year old. Maybe I'll just come as Alexis from Dynasty.